The “J” Agenda: Women have the rights to their own body

Emma J Nelson, Opinion Editor

Abortion is one of the most controversial medical procedures of the modern age, and that’s nothing new.

In the past, women have had to employ a variety of appalling methods to induce an abortion, such as the “coat hanger method,” ingesting dangerous poisons or even purposefully falling down sets of stairs, all of which have a considerable risk for harm or death. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 70,000 women die every year due to unsafe abortion practices.

All around the globe, women are becoming another number in this statistic due to their limited access to safe abortion procedures.

The 1973 Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade may have legalized abortion in the United States of America, but left the official restrictions up to the state governments. However, many restrictive laws have been employed in more conservative states in recent years, such as the so called “heartbeat bill” that prevents abortions from taking place after six weeks of gestation, and some states (Alabama, I’m looking at you) have outright banned the medical procedure.

As of early 2019, America only had 738 active abortion clinics, and seven states only had one. The lovely, liberal state of Oregon has only 15. Women have had to drive hours, days, to reach a location in which they can count on a safe medical procedure, but that’s not to say that the buildings themselves ensured safety. Ever since Roe v. Wade occurred, protesters have surrounded abortion clinics and are notorious for yelling and sneering at patients entering and exiting the buildings.

Although I believe every woman should be permitted total control of their body, because that is basic human decency, I call myself pro-choice for largely personal reasons: if I were to be in a situation in which I felt abortion was the right choice, I would’ve been placed there nonconsensually. I believe that I, and other women, should have the right to evade such emotional distress.